Spider-Man Episode 15: “Our Promise of Life”
Aired: August 23, 1978
In the fifteenth episode, Spider-Man befriends a little boy who has a heart condition and promises him to be there the day of his surgery. When that day comes, can the rope-slinger reach the boy in time or will he be defeated by the machinations of the Iron Cross Army?
Our story begins with a little boy buying groceries, and included in the list are two eggs and two cucumbers. It’s clear that he’s using his meager allowance to pay for this food, and he can’t afford the full dozen or probably some meat for dinner. He’s just basically scraping by apparently. It really doesn’t help that some boys from the baseball club come to harass him about today’s shopping, and Takuji is one of the brats. After yanking away his basket, the brats criticize him for his meager selection. Takuya doesn’t arrive on time to yell at his little brother, and helps the kid.
Takuya follows the kid home and watches him make dinner. The boy’s father recently died because of a car accident and now it’s all up to the mother to make ends meet. As Junichi goes back into the kitchen, he suddenly seizures due to his heart condition. Takuya feels sorry for the boy, especially as he can’t play sports or do anything physically strenuous. He leaves just as the boy’s mother returns home. That night, Takuya returns home to chastise his little brother for his behavior in town earlier that day. He gives the speech about how Junichi’s being strong his own way, especially since he lives with a single parent.
The next day, while swinging on a bar at the playground, Junichi meets Spider-Man, as Takuya wishes to give the boy a little encouragement. Why can’t he do this in his civvies? He helps the boy climb up a tree and they enjoy the view from up high. Later, Junichi runs to school telling everybody that he just played with Spider-Man. The baseball clubs laughs at his face and runs away, except for Takuji who stays behind. Following his brother’s words he tries to make friends with the boy, asking if he too could meet the superhero. Didn’t he meet the guy practically every week?! Anyway, they decide swing on the bars, but Junichi’s seizures appear and have gotten worse.
Takuya rushes to the hospital and learns that Junichi has a small hole in his heart and they need to operate on him pretty soon. His mother tells him they would’ve done it sooner, but since her husband died, they’ve put it off. Takuya hears Junichi’s cries for Spider-Man, and promises to meet him later by writing a personal note. Shinko picks it up as she enters the room, and unsurprisingly she doesn’t recognize her brother’s handwriting.
Later, Shinko calls Hitomi about a story regarding Spider-Man and the boy. They both agree it would make a great fluff piece. We actually see the inside of Spider-Man’s girlfriend’s swank apartment, complete with jazzy record player. You’d think Takuya would spend a decent amount of time here, but as it’s tv standards, they’ve got a pretty platonic relationship. Editor-in-Chief Amazoness hears Hitomi’s proposal and relays it to Professor Monster. Obviously they will seize this opportunity to “slaughter Spider-Man!” And sadly not in the Hard Boiled Way.
Spider-Man runs to the hospital the next day, climbing buildings and taking his sweet time getting there. While Junichi waits for his hero, Takuji becomes Mr. Negative and complains about how he won’t show up, as Spidey would’ve done it by now. Meanwhile, Spider-Man attempts to go across the street and sees Hitomi waiting outside, and on the other parts, everybody is a Ninder! His no-good-girlfriend has led him into a trap! Junichi waits with such earnestness for Spidey’s arrival.
Everywhere he goes, Tokyo”s friendly wallcrawler is surrounded by the Iron Cross grunts. The roofs are closely scrutinized by the disguised Ninders, dressed in either doctor’s uniforms or patient pyjamas. He could swing all the way there, but the Iron Cross Army knows they won’t take chances to hurt the innocents in the hospital. Soon the time for Junichi’s surgery comes, and everybody tells him to be brave anyway, except for Takuji as Spidey broke his promise.
Outside, Spider-Man hastily writes a note and folds it into an airplane. He suddenly notices Editor-in-Chief Amazoness, named Saeko Yoshida, and has to use his bracelet to reveal her true identity. Well, at least that’s an interesting development that could’ve happened ages ago! Hasn’t Takuya ever met Hitomi’s boss? For frick’s sake she doesn’t even wear a mask.
The letter arrives, and Shinko picks it up. She and her little brother run to the surgery room but it’s too late it’s already in progress. Shinko yells from outside that Spider-Man will definitely come, especially after the surgery is done. Spidey’s got some Iron Cross business to deal with and drives his car toward Yoshida. He forces her to stop, and after what seems like an eternity of focused anger, Amazoness runs like a chicken after puling a gun on him.
He chases her to some construction district where explosives are placed in concrete pipes. Well, only he finds out who the hell has been shooting at him, the Machine Bem Killer Unicorn. It looks like a Triceritops more than a horse, but who are we to argue, since we’re pressed for time. The man who risks his life for his promises wants to finish the fight ASAP and begins his assault on Killer Unicorn. It grows to giant size, and you should know what happens.
Spider-Man does keep his promise and hangs around outside of the boy’s window doing his rotating cling thing. The suit actor is clearly trying to keep his stuff together, as the shot has him upside-down for an extended period of time.
So it was another average episode, but all these shows got to have one of these sappy stories right?